China: The Panda Adventure (2001)
In this visually striking tale of adventure, Ruth (Maria Bello) is an American widow who during the 1930s travels to China in hopes of making her late husband's dream a reality by bringing Chinese pandas to the United States. Ruth is awed by the striking beauty of China and discovers several of the rare pandas as well as a number of other unusual animals; however, Ruth learns that the Chinese government is lax in their protection of wildlife, and that hunters are making short work of the pandas. China: The Panda Adventure was shot and originally released in the high-definition IMAX film process. … More
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Critic Reviews for China: The Panda Adventure
Each stunning scene is a delicious sight, filled with gorgeous, lush landscapes. . .Just open your eyes and say, "A-a-a-ah."
[Young] occasionally mines the IMAX cliches ... but more often he delivers unforgettable images of China.
Imax Corp. has been struggling in the last year, and "China: The Panda Adventure" illustrates one reason why.
[W]hen it's all sewn together the final product is as unlovely as Frankenstein.
The spectacle provided by the large-screen format is largely wasted on the movie's schmaltzy storyline.
recreates a simplified tale fit for TV, shows off a pawfull of sweet pandas and offers up a tiny tea cup serving of truly memorable China pans.
The script is a clunker, the acting atrocious, and there's not even enough panda footage to keep the kids happy.
A stirring and thrilling adventure that rewards viewers of all ages.
Gives only glimpses of the potential for dynamic storytelling many have longed for in an Imax film.
Despite being helmed by Robert M. Young, who knows more than a bit about docus and drama, China immediately plays as a wooden period piece.
The footage of pandas in their natural surroundings is enchanting.
Why not make a straight documentary about the remarkable creatures instead of a bad melodrama? Or at least remember to show the playful pandas in the first place?
So much care has been lavished on the lush, vivid cinematography that very little seems to have been left over for such picayune matters as script continuity, plausible dialogue, coherent editing and acting.
[Young] knows what's important in an IMAX movie and makes certain that the vastness and beauty of China are matched by the pandas' lovable quotient.
Young delivers a spry, richly detailed adventure for general audiences, truly a feat deserving acclaim.
If you can ignore the cookie-cutter story and wooden characters and focus instead on the natural wonders that are passing us by as we travel up the Yangtze, chances are good that you won't be disappointed.
Some extraordinarily beautiful scenic footage...But as a movie it resembles a Disney flick from forty years past.
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